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Two Years of GNU Guile Scheme 2.0

muuh-gnu Re:Emacs and Guile need each other (107 comments)

> I wish that the project, talked about for years, to rewrite Emacs and base it on Guile would take off. It would save Guile

Exactly, and this is exactly its problem. It is not the Emacs people who are pushing this rewrite, but the guile people. in order to get a "killer app" as a vehicle to advertize Guile, because nobody else wants to write a killer app in guile from scratch.

Of course, Emacs would benefit from an vastly improved Elisp engine too, but my feeling is that the usual Emacs users actually do not want to switch from Elisp to Scheme in the long term. Elisp is a descendant of Maclisp, and as such much more resembles the look and feel of Common Lisp than Scheme. There is even a big subset of Common Lisp implemented in Elisp. There is no similar Scheme package, because Emacs people do not like Scheme. They like Lisp.

The problem is, even though they have two Lisp implementations under their umbrella, CLISP and GCL, GNU made the decision to _not_ use Common Lisp as their "official" high-level language some 20 years ago, because RMS had problems with Lisp companies during the 80s, and they are now sticking with Guile no matter what against all opposition. It was a bad decision, but now they have invested 20 years of effort into guile an do not or can not go back. The push to get Emacs onto guile is purely political. I have the feeling that the political push by GNU to start writing in Scheme instead of Lisp will alienate a lot of people in the emacs community and maybe lead to a fork.

In short: Pushing people to write Scheme instead of Elisp will either lead to Emacs dying (because people do not like Scheme) or lead to a fork (because people do not like Scheme). If you absolutely have to rewrite Emacs because the Elisp engine is so kaputt, rewrite it in Common Lisp. Having a high quality Common Lisp available with every Emacs install would benefit _Emacs_. Having Guile installed with every Emacs will only benefit Guile, but Emacs will die. And why? You'll guess it, because people simply do not like scheme.

about a year and a half ago
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Russian Univ. Launches Course Based On ReactOS Led By Alex Bragin

muuh-gnu Re:Why not teach with BananaOS ? (90 comments)

If Reactos ever threatens to get into an usable state, Microsoft can simply outspend them by moving on and letting Reactos always play costly catch up.

The effort invested into Reactos would make much more sense if invested into Wine instead.

Using Reactos still means using Windows and writing Windows apps in the first place, so it benefits the Windows overall ecosstem. If the effort were spent on Wine instead, people would be able to run their Windows apps, but would have to switch to Linux first, and Linux would be their new primary environment while Wine would be just a compatibility layer. Nobody would directly write apps for Wine, it would be just a way to run old apps until they are ported to your new native environment, Linux.

Reactos is not the necessary step away _from_ Windows, it _is_ Windows with all the usual downsides of Windows, but without the benefit of a company like Microsoft supporting it.

about a year and a half ago
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KDE Software Compilation 4.10 RC1 Released

muuh-gnu Re:Stable? (59 comments)

> Canonical has shown no signs of letting up with the crazy

Unity is by far not as unusable and "different" as all the haters make it up to be. In its essence, it a reimplementation of WindowMaker with desktop icons.

I've had Windows users without _any_ prior Linux experience use it intuitively without any difficulty or complaints whatsoever.

The only people who complain about Unity are those who cant believe that Gnome2 was killed and desperately want it back. I know that because I was one of them. Until I actually used Unity for a longer period of time and found out that my prior complaints were just emotional rage about the killing of Gnome2 and not about Unity itself. Unity itself is perfectly usable for day to day work.

But it was not Canonical who killed Gnome2, the Gnome people themselves did that and they are to blame. It was and is in Canonicals best interest to cut as many ties to Gnome as possible because Gnome definitely jumped the shark and the Gnome people lost their way, their mind and their sanity.

about a year and a half ago
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Google Brings the Dead Sea Scrolls To the Digital Age

muuh-gnu Re:Are we any smarter than we were 2000 years ago? (202 comments)

> The closer you get from the "source" is with the Q'ran because it was never translated

The whole Bible NT is available in the original koine greek.

> however it was written from memory by followers of Muhammad

With the Bible, the things are even worse. Nobody knows who actually wrote the core part, the gospels.

The other half of the NT, Paul's writings, which predate the gospels by a few decades, dont even mention that Jesus was somebody who actually existed outside of Paul's visions and theological concepts.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Mark Shuttleworth Anything

muuh-gnu Distribution concept, too frequent releases (319 comments)

In my view, Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular is greatly harmed by the concept of monolitic "distributions". Besides hardware drivers, this has been in my experience the biggest obstacle to Linux/Ubuntu adoption.

From the point of view of a Windows user, having to upgrade the whole system and _all other apps_ just to get the new version of one single app, is asinine. As a Linux advocate, I had many people I tried to make use Linux return back to windows just for this single reason alone. An Ubuntu app should install on any reasonably recent Ubuntu and not be tightly coupled to a particular release. When people get windows apps, they are usually not called "XP apps", or "Vista apps" or "Win7 apps", they are just Windows apps, and in most cases install without problems even on 10 years old XP machines. This is what made Windows win the giant market share it has, and this is an issue that has greatly bothered me on Linux the last 15 years, and Ubuntu might finally be the one Linux that fixes it.

Do you have this problem on your radar and are you going to do something about it?

The second issue is the too frequent releases of these distributions. You've just released 12.04 LTS a few months ago. Judging by published upgrade stats, a big number of users has already upgraded to a non-LTS 12.10, and in my view, devalued the LTS. I see here an example of the Osbourne effect at work. Too frequent new releases devalue the old releases (especially the LTS), so targeting the LTS becomes less attractive for games and other commercial vendors. I think that being a too fast moving and backward incompatible target is bad for Linux in general and for Ubuntu in particular. I think that forcibly slowing down the chaotic development Linux ecosystem would greatly benefit it as a target for commercial development.

Do you have this problem on your radar and are you going to do something about it?

Thanks.

about a year and a half ago
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Apple Claims New Infringement After Being Ordered To Tell Samsung HTC Secrets

muuh-gnu Re:Tantrum? (287 comments)

> his legal team is still carrying on his maniacal vendetta

To complete your statement with direct quotes:

  • "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,"
  • "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
  • "I don't want your money. (...) I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want."

Apple has built such a Fuehrer cult around Jobs, that they now have to realize his last wish even if it greatly harms them, or risk admitting that he was crazy, at least with regard to his irrational hate for Google.

about a year and a half ago
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Search For "Foolproof Suffocation" Missed In Casey Anthony Case

muuh-gnu Re:No Death Penalty (379 comments)

> We shouldn't execute people, because we're not really sure that we're killing someone who's guilty.

And why should we execute somebody who we are perfectly sure _is_ guilty? Why cant they, you know, jsut go to prison like everybody else? Why do we have to intentionally _kill them_? Just because a lot of crazy people out there want to see their blood? This is the sick part, not the fact that statistically we also execute not guilty ones.

about a year and a half ago
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Cloud Version of OpenOffice In the Works

muuh-gnu Re:Why OpenOffice? (71 comments)

> should be merged into one product

Which one? And whois going to get the last word on decisions?

> isn't it equally open source again?

Open source does not imply that there somehoiw should be only one application of its kind.

On the contrary, isnt having forks the whole point of open source?

Asking why OpenOffice and LibreOffice should coexist is like asking why OSX and Windows should coexist, or why Linux and FreeBSD should coexist.

about a year and a half ago
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Jimmy Wales Calls UK Government To Halt O'Dwyer Extradition

muuh-gnu Re:Extradition? WTF? (94 comments)

> Brits, it IS your country. Man up and start running it like a real one, not the butt-boy of the USA.

How are people supposed to change stuff without being able to directly vote on it? Like with copyright, big parties can simply agree on extradition and effectively shield it from any democracy, since nobody is going to form a new party just to fight this one single extradition law.

Without direct democracy, parties can simply win elections on "big issues" and completely and utterly disregard the will of the people on such "small issues".

about 2 years ago
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Debate Over Evolution Will Soon Be History, Says Leakey

muuh-gnu Re:Don't bet on it. (1226 comments)

It also doesnt make sense to try to reach them, once they've grown up in religion, they wont let it go for emotional and tribal reasons. It defines them as a community much stronger than their nationality does. It is sufficient to reach their kids, before they irreparably brainwash them.

I dont think religious adults really believe any of this, they just dont want to let it go because they _know_ what a slippery slope it is. Like that librarian Jorge in "the name of the rose" who burnt books because they were dangerous to religion. I think many of them know that they're creating an artificial reality, they simply prefer it to real reality, like the people in "The Village".

Theres no point in arguing evolution with them, they do not want to discuss it because that way they would above all confess to _each other_ that they all know that they've been pretending to each other all the time. For religious adults, theres simply too much emotional investment and pride and embarassment involved to simply give up faith. Accepting evolution will only work for kids, before their parents forcibly create a too strong emotional bonding between them and baby Jesus.

more than 2 years ago
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Pirate Party Gaining Strength In Germany

muuh-gnu Re:Can someone explain to me (242 comments)

> Absolutely, unequivocally, no.

Well, maybe you dont, but I do.

> create a tyranny of the majority

Can you give me an example of a direct democracy gone wrong? You probably cant, because the only direct democracy existing is Switzerland, and it works perfectly fine. I, on the other hand, can give you a long list of the supposedly better representative democracies gone wrong. Nazi Germany grew out of a representative democracy, for example. Hitler was an cleanly elected "representative". And because their politicians decisions were unstoppable, suddenly millions of Germans had to go and die on the Ostfront, because there was no way to democratically override Hitlers decisions.

> makes changing certain aspects of governmental operation incredibly difficult.

This similarly means that when the representative goverment goes wrong, for example with copyright policy or the "war on drugs", it is also incredibly difficult to change that. So for representative democracy to be "better", you actually have to assume that it already _is_ better, and not allow any change (or make the change so hard to be effectively impossible). But this assumption is demonstrably wrong.

more than 2 years ago
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Pirate Party Gaining Strength In Germany

muuh-gnu Re:Can someone explain to me (242 comments)

For direct democracy to work you dont have to give up representative democracy, you can make direct democracy optional, like in switzerland, so that if enough people _want_ to vote on a topic they perceive important, they can.

At the current representative level, we're basically not allowed to vote on copyright, becaue our "representatives" dont like the probable outcome of the vote. So they simply enforce their policy against the "will of the people", leaving us with a de facto dictatorship with respect to copyright. We cant vote on it, and those we voted in wont do as we want, leading to a situation where the law whether something is legal or illegal absolutely does not represent the public opinion whether something actually is right or wrong.

In switzerland, representative democracy works as usual, but if enough people collect signatures, they have a way to vote to override politician's decisions. They can stop unpopular laws. In Germany, we cant. If our goverment decides to crack down on filesharing, we cant stop them. If our goverment decides to go to war against iran because of some "NATO obligations", we cant stop them. All we can do is wait for 4 years and then vote in somebody else and pray that he wont do the same, because we cant stop him either. The whole problem originates in the fact that our politicians, once they're in after making false promises, they _know_ that they're literally unstoppable and behave accordingly.

What Pirates want for Germany and what the Swiss already have in Switzerland, is to make politicians stoppable and their decisions reversible, immediately by popular vote, not by waiting 4 years and then hoping their successors are going to reverse it like they "promised".

more than 2 years ago
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Pirate Party Gaining Strength In Germany

muuh-gnu Re:Can someone explain to me (242 comments)

> The problem with system itself originally was scaling, it simply didn't scale well beyond small city-state sized community

So if real democracy is impossible above a certain size, does that mean that getting (or staying) above a certain size is a method to circumvent real democracy?

If Germany is too big for direct democracy, then split it up in chunks small enough for direct democracy to work.

I think that they're attempting a similar coup with the EU: First get big enough for representative democracy to not scale any more, then complain that even representative democracy isnt scaling, then get rid even of representative democracy because only some authoritarian construct scales to that size.

more than 2 years ago
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Pirate Party Gaining Strength In Germany

muuh-gnu Re:All the Crap (242 comments)

Copyright issues is what made the pirates realize where _many_ problems, including copyright, originate: rich and powerful people (aka money) circumventing democracy.

The copyright issue crystalized that even though the majority of people opposes today's copyright, there is no way to change it, because political parties are so much in bed with IP stakeholders (which in the US for example, openly make threats "touch this protection law with a pole, motherfucker, and I wont finance your next campaign."), that they make laws _against_ the population, for the benefit of the influential stakeholders. It is a sick, dangerous symbiosis, which shouldnt be allowed to exist. They effectively shield off copyright policy from _ever_ being voted on, because they know what the result of a popular vote would be.

The pirates started out with copyright, then realized "oh fuck, this is just the tip of the iceberg" and are now mainly advocating total transparency, separation of money and state, and basic, direct democracy. If we the people have the means to vote on single issue, then we _should_ be able to directly vote on it, and not be forced delegate the vote to a "representative", whom we cant force to vote to our benefit.

The representative system has a fatal bug: a representative can make promises, get votes first, win seats, then get money, and then vote for the money wants, not for what the voters wanted when they voted for him. The only thing we supposedly can "do" about this is to not vote for the same representative again, but we cant change his once made decision. But the representative we vote in next is still subject to the same exploitability that corrupted the first one, and there is no way for the electorate to do anything to stop this bug in the system to get constantly exploited by money. The only way, and this is what the pirates are actually attempting, is to fix this fundamental bug in the system by letting voters override policitician's decisions, switzerland style. Direct democracy.

The copyright law nightmare is just a symptom of the fact that we cant directly vote on copyright law, while money can. Money gets what it wants and we dont. We can only vote on _who_ makes decisions, but money can vote on _what_ decisions he will make. So money already has a kind of direct democracy, and we dont. The goal is for us to get direct democracy, and to decrease the influence money has.

more than 2 years ago
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12 Ways LibreOffice Writer Tops MS Word

muuh-gnu Re:No way (642 comments)

> Seems unfair to pick that direction. Why is that not Word's fault?

Because Word is the incumbent. If you as a contender want to talk to the incumbent, you have to learn the incumbents preferred language But LibreOffice gains a significant amount of users, this unfair requirement will not be valid any more.

It is important to remember that LibreOffice is fighting an uphill battle here, and this is by definition not fair, so you dont have to play fair. The incumbent did not win his top-of-hill position by playing fair, but by lockin deceit.

One possible way to gain foothold is abuse of authority. Leverage whatevery you have to push LibreOffice. If you can force LibreOffice on somebody, do it without remorse. Require anybody less influential and depending on you to communicate with you through LibreOffice. If you can, hurt them financially and tell them why. Drive the cost of using MSO up, while making LO look like a good way to cut costs.

The people do not really need MSO, they're just addicted to it. The detoxification therapy may not a pleasent experience for them, but it is their fault they got addicted in the first place and helped making other people addicted.

more than 2 years ago
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Innocent Or Not, the NSA Is Watching You

muuh-gnu Re:You are not innocent (410 comments)

> "If elections could change your life, they would be illegal."

I believed sayings like that until the Pirate Party started winning seats in Sweden and Germany and started making _real changes_. It must have gone the same way back in the 80s when the Greens formed and started entering parliaments, they also brought real changes.

Today I think that another saying is more appropriate with respect to changes and political parties:

"If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got."

Obviously voting for one of the same few entrenched parties is not enough to introduce changes, because a few cycles, they tend to become alike.

more than 2 years ago
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Anonymous Hacks UK Government Sites Over 'Draconian Surveillance'

muuh-gnu Re:Support Them? (151 comments)

> Winning against all odds doesn't work

Pirate parties in Sweden and especially Germany have won a significant amount of votes. They now have approx 10% acceptance according to polls, and are already making goverment coalitions impossible that have been the norm for the last 40 years.

> Starting a change on the political level is technically impossible.

Paralysis by analysis. If the pirate party founders thought in terms of impossiblities, not formed a political wing, and only resorted to desperate and useless demonstrations, protests, and "hacktivism", we wouldnt be where we are right now. All the existing power, drive, awareness and frustration of millions of people would have dissolved into nothingness. But happily they reckognized this, and now we have someone to vote for, and believe it or not, IT ALREADY CHANGES STUFF. Significantly. We've not even entered the German Bundestag yet, and there already are chages. All the other "established" politcal parties are already reacting to the "new power".

You absolutely need a politial way to channel peoples will. Trying to impress and appease existing entrenched political parties by merely demonstrating is an excercize in futility. NOthing will change until you dont start throwing out the bad guy out of the parliaments and getting in yourself.

more than 2 years ago
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Anonymous Hacks UK Government Sites Over 'Draconian Surveillance'

muuh-gnu Re:Support Them? (151 comments)

> demonstrate to the politicians that you personally care

They dont care whether you care or dont care because they know that they will be elected anyway.

> bring awareness of an issue to the larger public.

Irrelevant. If they dont have a party sympathetic to the demonstrated cause to vote for at the next elections, the awareness alone will not lead to any change. You have to have a party channeling the awareness into political change.

> The first step to a public debate

If theres no "other" party to vote for, public debate withing the existing party space is just a superficial ritual. It leads to no siginificant change whatsoever.

> because you don't want it to work.

Because it doesnt work. It will not make members of existing parties sympathetic to the hacktivism cause.

> media whoring is astoundingly effective.

Only if you already have political power. Neither the hacktivists nor their political representatives (if they existed, but they dont even exist) will get political power because of hacktivism. It serves no measurable purpose.

more than 2 years ago
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Anonymous Hacks UK Government Sites Over 'Draconian Surveillance'

muuh-gnu Re:Support Them? (151 comments)

Hactivism (or any other sort of activism for that matter) is a rather desperate and pointless endevour because it will not lead to any change whatsoever in the direction the hacktivists hope for. It is just useless effort, often even damaging to their cause.

The only way to change things is to make people at large stop voting always the same parties into the parliaments. If you have effort or money to spend, support your local pirate parties. Persuade eligible voters to vote for them.

Whatever you do, have a clearly defined and well distinguished political party to be able to channel the support you gained. Votes are the only currency that counts. Hacktivism, demonstrations, OWS, etc are all just useless masturbation if they dont rally around a specific political party.

The problem is political. You wont solve a political problem by non-political means. You cant beat them at their game without playing the game. You have to get in there, however dirty and rigged it may be in ther favor, and win against all odds. Only by winning will you get to change future rules.

Hacktivism is none of that. It is a vulgar display of wretched, powerless frustration and doesnt indicate that you are or ever will be, a winner. It communicates the exact opposite, even more so.

more than 2 years ago
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German Court Rules Rapidshare Is Legal, But Must Adjust Content Policies

muuh-gnu Re:Always amazes me (73 comments)

> but not the creators?

It is OK for creators to make money off content... if they can. If people are willing to pay. If they are not willing and prefer to produce their copies themselves instead bying them from you, you're SOL and have to change jobs to something wehere people want to pay for what you do. What is NOT ok is to solve the problem simply by making technological advancements and the modern copying infrastructure illegal with the intent to simulate the 50's where nobody had a PC and nobody had his PC connected with billions of other people with a PC. "Now as all of you have those wonderful futuristic tools became real... dont use them, because people will lose jobs."

For your business model (selling copies) to work, you basically have to make people forever stay in the 50's. This is the same as if people in the 16th century made book printing illegal to protect manuscript scribes. You're basically a luddite fighting technological advancement because it obsoletes your business. Do you sincerely think you can win that fight? Before, you could run a business to distribute stuff to people, now they can do it themselves. The distribution problem has now been solved. Your business model is simply gone. Adapt or die, you won't win this.

more than 2 years ago

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